Nancy O'Dell and Jewel drop out of Dancing With the Stars days before competition begins
Rumors have swirled for days that singer/songwriter Jewel (at left) was dropping out of ABC's hit dance competition Dancing With the Stars due to injuries, to be replaced by Holly Madison from the Playboy-centered reality show the Girls Next Door.
Now ABC has revealed that both Jewel and Access Hollywood host Nancy O'Dell are leaving the show due to injuries -- according to ABC, "Jewel was diagnosed with a fractured tibia in both legs, O’Dell a torn meniscus. The injuries were sustained while training for the competition."
Injuries have recently become a major problem for the dance show before a second of the program has aired: another contestant, model Giles Marini, was reportedly diagnosed with tendonitis in the shoulder and groin, according to E! Online.
Last season, favored contestant and Olympic volleyball champ Misty May-Treanor dropped out midway through the competition after tearing her achilles tendon. That season dancer Derek Hough also knocked himself out, soap star Susan Lucci twisted her ankle and comic Jeffrey Ross was poked in the eye.
The network says it is saving the announcement of who will replace the stars for Monday's debut of the show's eighth cycle, which also features celebrities such as train wreck actress Denise Richards, Jackass-turned-mental patient Steve-O, Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson, comic David Alan Grier, rapper Lil' Kim, rodeo rider (and husband to Jewel) Ty Murray and a guy best known for who he is dating, dancer Julianne Hough's boyfriend and country crooner, Chuck Wicks.
Both stars, who will appear on Monday's show, were quoted in a release from ABC:
“When the doctors told me my injuries were so severe that I couldn’t walk, let alone compete, I was devastated that I couldn’t continue the show,” said Jewel. “I have every intention of being at ‘Dancing with the Stars’ this season supporting my husband, Ty, and his partner, Chelsie (Hightower). I hope to be back on the show in the future.”
“Beyond disappointment doesn't even being to describe how I feel about not being able to continue on ‘Dancing with the Stars,’” said O’Dell (at left). “It has been one of my favorite shows since Season One! But I have torn the meniscus in my knee in two places, which requires surgery. ‘Dancing with the Stars’ was a great experience. I'll miss working with my partner, Tony Dovolani, and all the other wonderful people on the amazing production that is ‘Dancing with the Stars’”
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Both Celebrities to Appear on “Dancing with the Stars” Season Premiere, Monday, March 9
Additional Changes to the Cast Will Also Be Announced
Multi-platinum singer/songwriter Jewel and “Access Hollywood” host Nancy O’Dell have withdrawn from Season Eight of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” citing injuries. Jewel was diagnosed with a fractured tibia in both legs, O’Dell a torn meniscus. The injuries were sustained while training for the competition.
Jewel and O’Dell will appear on the season premiere of “Dancing with the Stars,” MONDAY, MARCH 9 (8:00-10:02 p.m., ET) to address their injuries. The women were paired with professional dancers Tony Dovolani and Dmitry Chaplin, respectively. Additional changes to the cast will also be announced during Monday’s premiere.
“Like most sports, dancing can be a demanding, physical activity. Each participant of ‘Dancing with the Stars’ warrants in contract that they are physically fit enough to participate in the competition. We love and appreciate Nancy and Jewel’s competitive spirit, drive and desire to perform their best.
Though we share in their disappointment that they can no longer continue, their physical well-being takes precedent above all else. We thank them both for giving it their all and wish them a quick and full recovery,” said Executive Producer Conrad Green.